Winnie Madikizela-Mandela transitioned early today in Johannesburg, South Africa after a brief doctor’s visit over the weekend. She was admitted due to a complaint about her flu after she attended church on Good Friday.
Known as the “Mother of the Nation” (because of her work to liberate Black Africans against the white-minority rule in South Africa), she came to rise as the wife of Nelson Mandela, with whom they shared 38 years in matrimony. Though when she married Mr. Mandela she was not politically minded, she quickly assumed the nationalist posture while he during his 27 year incarceration.
There is a poem called “birth of a daughter” by Hafsa Atique that says the following:
“my mother sensed a war in her womb, and so she raised me to fight.”
This poem could have been written by the late 81 year old Ms. Mandela.
A warrior, a national mother and freedom fighter, her death was announced by her spokesperson, Victor Dlamini who released in a statement “after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year.”
In a televised address the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said that she was “voice of defiance” against white-minority rule and noted that she had the heart that many others in her country did not.
“In the face of exploitation, she was a champion of justice and equality,” Ramaphosa lamented “She as an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free”.
Many poured out their condolences to the family and gave tribute on social media.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) April 2, 2018
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) April 2, 2018
RIP Winnie Mandela
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) April 2, 2018
She lived for everyone, fought for lives and empowered along the way. ✊? RIP to a revolutionary, Winnie Mandela! ?? pic.twitter.com/aM0GfrdAO3
— Estelle (@EstelleDarlings) April 2, 2018
Winnie Mandela. Rest In Peace 9/26/36 – 4/2/2018. One can only hope in this lifetime to have an ounce of your strength and courage. ?? pic.twitter.com/ZLgx2S98aB
— PHAROAHE MONCH (@pharoahemonch) April 2, 2018
Rest in peace Mama Winnie. My heart is heavy right now. You lived a full and important life contributing to the liberation of a nation by force and ACTUAL ACTIVISM. You will never be forgotten. ??
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) April 2, 2018
The members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. mourn the loss of anti-apartheid activist, human rights leader and the first Black female social worker in South Africa, Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She is and will always be a shining example of the #PowerInOurVoice. pic.twitter.com/Fh2fqQLMAI
— Delta Sigma Theta (@dstinc1913) April 2, 2018
I cherish the times I spent with you, embracing me in your family & home. You were Woman of strength that endured so much hardship and sacrifice. Without you we would not know anything about Tata and his 27 years. You will remain in my heart!! R.I.P WINNIE MANDELA ♥️???? pic.twitter.com/2R9fg1t6dx
— Naomi Campbell (@NaomiCampbell) April 2, 2018
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) April 2, 2018
Check out the queen: